Ode to the Carhartt

Print Article

I saw a guy yesterday walking into Smithís with a crumpled wide-brimmed hat on and a jacket with what looked liked dried mud all over it. I canít say for sure it was mud ó it was whitish stuff, maybe asbestos, or plaster.

The coat was battered and creased and lived in. In other words, it was just about perfect for a Carhartt.

Iíve spent thousands of dollars on jackets over the years, those with fancy fabrics or insulative properties that are supposed to be the best in the world.

Iíve also spent less than $200 on Carhartts. The last one I bought was on sale at Murdochís years ago and I snatched it up for 50 bucks. I wore the one before that until the pockets completely wore out and the elbows had no fabric.

The ďnewĒ one, which is at least 6 years old, has a hood and quilted lining. The cuffs are beginning to fray and thereís oil stains and dirt all over it. I suppose I could wash it, but then again, itís not like Iím going to wear it to church, and the smell of motor oil and manure has its own charms.

It is not waterproof or particularly warm or lightweight ó sure, I can put an extra layer or two under it, but when the rubber meets the road in December, I usually hang it up until spring.

Itís the perfect coat for the 50-degree day with a raw wind when busting through a thicket of hawthorn bushes. You just put your head down and bull through it. The coat more than takes the punishment, seems to enjoy it, really.

Itís also very quiet. Gore-tex is a great fabric, but itís noisy. The canvas cotton of the Carhartt is not. It also has an inside pocket thatís actually useful, which is to say stuff doesnít fall out of it all the time. Mine has about four pens and a crumpled notebook inside most of the time and if I canít find my wallet, chances are Iíve stuffed it somewhere inside that coat.

Having said all that, I suppose I should buy a new one. It takes awhile to break a Carhartt in and get to know it, years, really. Like a fine wine, itís the work coat that gets better with age.

Chris Peterson is the editor of the Hungry Horse News.

Print Article

Read More Columns

Seeing grizzlies

May 22, 2019 at 7:40 am | Lake County Leader This week G. George Ostrom has selected a classic column from Oct. 18, 1968. What happened the weekend of October 5th? Took my family up to our Moose City hideaway. What a fabulous place up there w...

Comments

Read More

A few bills you may have missed

May 22, 2019 at 7:40 am | Hungry Horse News Many bills during the 2019 legislative session grabbed headlines. Here are a few that passed quietly but will be of interest to Montanans. House Bill 443 (Fitzgerald-R) Are you a recreational beekee...

Comments

Read More

Bad camps

May 22, 2019 at 7:38 am | Hungry Horse News Iíve camped in a lot of different places over the years. The first camping trips were in the backyard of my grandmotherís farmhouse under 200-year-old maple trees. I slept in an old canvas tent and ...

Comments

Read More

Thoughts on grizzlies

May 15, 2019 at 7:09 am | Lake County Leader The grizzlies are back! By any measure, the grizzly bear, with a lot of human help, have made a remarkable recovery. Many folks, including Montanaís Fish, Wildlife and Parks feel that they should no ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2019 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X